The season of giving is almost upon us. Please help us make the holidays bright for area families in need by volunteering with FCS Operation Sleighbells! Since September, a record 575 families, including 1,300 children, registered for FCS Operation Sleighbells, which distributes gifts of new coats, hats, gloves, toys, books, gift cards and infant necessities to local children in need. The success of the program depends on you and the hundreds of other individuals, families, organizations and businesses who each year, overwhelm us with kindness and generosity.
“The joy really is in the giving,” says Samantha White, FCS Director of Volunteer Services , “It’s so rewarding to see so many people in our community come forward and volunteer to provide relief to struggling families during a very special time of year.”
Operation Sleighbells, the program on which FCS was founded, is different from other holiday programs in that it addresses the specific wishes of every child. Participating families are interviewed in September by staff and asked to provide the ages, sizes and needs of each child. Registration for the program is now closed to enable us to grant the wishes of the children enrolled in the program.
We ask the community to help fulfill the requests, either individually or by sponsoring an entire family. We begin accepting donations in December. It’s an enormous undertaking that also requires additional off-site space for volunteers to sort and distribute the thousands of donations. This year, FCS is again fortunate to partner with Monmouth Park which is providing temporary space for Operation Sleighbells at its Oceanport location.
“We are most grateful to the owners and operators of Monmouth Park for their generous contribution to Operation Sleighbells,” says FCS CEO Delly Beekman. “The continued use of the Park’s facilities enables us to serve the tremendous need in our community and fulfill our Mission to support people during challenging times”
There are several ways you can participate in Operation Sleighbells:
- Adopt a Family – Provide toys, gifts, coats and perhaps a supermarket gift card to enable enabling an entire family to have a special holiday meal.
- Host a collection drive at work, school, or organization. — FCS will provide tags listing the first name of a participating child with his or her age, size and holiday wish. Employees or group members can then select a tag and buy a gift for that particular child.
- Donate gifts – FCS gladly accepts new, unwrapped coats, books, toys and other gifts and will sort and distribute them based on the needs of those registered for the program
- Donate money to purchase gift cards for older teens – Donations can be made online at or mailed to the agency.
- Volunteer – Volunteer to help sort and pack gifts.
For more information about Operation Sleighbells, call our office at 732-222-9111